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Ep. 120 Jacinta Gonzalez and Amy Herzog on "Amazon's Cloud Industrial Complex"

Ep. 120

Playing for Team Human today: immigrant rights activists Jacinta Gonzalez and Amy Herzog.

Jacinta and Amy will be showing us why the people living in Queens, New York may not want to welcome Amazon’s HQ2 with open arms. 

With Amazon poised to deliver on lucrative government contracts for surveillance and immigration enforcement technologies, Jacinta and Amy make it clear that the stakes are higher than just rising rents and gentrification.

On today’s episode we’ll take a hard look at Amazon’s “cloud industrial complex.” We’ll look at how surveillance technologies like Amazon’s Rekognition are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to programs that antagonize vulnerable communities. 

Jacinta and Amy give Team Human listeners a critical and concrete look at the multiple intersections between our technology giants, police-state enforcement policies, and the long history of corporate profiteering on the backs of marginalized peoples. 


Jacinta Gonzalez is field director for Mijente, a group organizing Latinx communities around issues of immigration, detention, and deportation. Mijente has a wealth of resources and information. To learn more about the Cloud Industrial Complex, check out Mijente’s report Who’s Behind Ice and link back to Mijente.net for links to more actions, petitions, and ways to get involved. 

https://ice.tech.blog/ is also a tremendous hub of information about the growing relationship between big tech and lucrative government contracts to equip ICE.

Amy Herzog is a media historian whose research spans a broad range of interdisciplinary subjects. She is Professor of Media Studies at Queens College and a faculty member in the Departments of Theatre and Music at the CUNY Graduate Center, as well as the programs in Film Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. She has also taught as Visiting Associate Professor at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University. She is a co-founder of @NoAmazonAmazons

In the News:

Tech firms make millions from Trump's anti-immigrant agenda, report finds:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/23/silicon-valley-tech-firms-making-money-trump-anti-immigrant-agenda-report

Amazon is the invisible backbone behind ICE’s immigration crackdown:

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612335/amazon-is-the-invisible-backbone-behind-ices-immigration-crackdown/

Facial Recognition and Voice Recognition via the Intercept:

https://theintercept.com/2018/11/15/amazon-echo-voice-recognition-accents-alexa/

https://theintercept.com/2018/07/30/amazon-facial-recognition-police-military/

Douglas opens the show asking if we are taking the wrong approach in our communication about climate change? Can we move people away from feeling powerless to effect change and shape the future? What if we said, “Climate change is about to be defeated! Now is the time to go all in. Don’t miss the opportunity!” instead?

Check out Douglas’s regular column on Medium for essay versions of this and other show monologues.

Team Human happens each week thanks to the generous support of our listeners on Patreon. Your support makes the hours of labor that go into each show possible. You can also help by reviewing the show on iTunes.

On this episode you heard Fugazi’s “Foreman’s Dog” in the intro thanks to the kindness of the band and Dischord Records. Mid show was Throbbing Gristle’s “Walkabout” See Team Human Episode 67 with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. Our outro features the Mike Watt ’s beak-holding-letter-man.


Order Team Human the book and manifesto, now available everywhere! 

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